Ronny Deila responds when asked about Anthony Stokes' situation at Celtic

Celtic

Ronny Deila says Anthony Stokes is available for selection against Ajax.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told The Herald that forward Anthony Stokes is in his thoughts ahead of tonight's game against Ajax.

Stokes, 27, hit an impressive 68 goals in his first four seasons at Celtic, thriving under Neil Lennon having starred with rivals Hibernian.

However, the former Arsenal youngster's career has nosedived under Lennon's replacement Deila, as he hit seven goals in just 21 games last season before completely slipping out of the picture this term.

The Irishman has played in just one league game this season, featuring for 90 minutes in the 3-1 win over Dundee United in August - but he hasn't been seen in the green and white hoops since.

Many expect Stokes to move on in January, but he could be thrown a lifeline to resurrect his Celtic career under Deila in tonight's Europa League clash against Ajax.

After the 0-0 draw against Kilmarnock on Saturday, Celtic need goals if they are to beat Ajax, and Stokes could be seen as one particular solution for Deila.

Speaking to The Herald before the clash with Ajax, Deila addressed Stokes' situation at Celtic, stating he is available for selection - and is in his thoughts for tonight's big game.

"He is available," said Deila. "He is in our thoughts and he is in the squad," he added, hinting that Stokes could at least play some role against Ajax.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch